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Jon Dickinson Chief Commercial Officer

What's New Wed 26th October, 2022

Forrester study finds reducing time to market drives the greatest return on investment when scaling digital delivery

We commissioned a Forrester TEI (Total Economic Impact™) study to help customers build the business case for investing in scaling digital delivery.

The study reveals that Equal Experts has helped customers to realise a 123% return on investment by reducing time to market when scaling digital delivery. Forrester found that reducing time to market consistently across multiple delivery teams was the greatest driver of business benefits.

The Challenge

The TEI study, which can be downloaded here, provides a benefits case for investing in approaches to scaling digital delivery. It also examines how Equal Experts is positioned to help customers who face challenges such as:

  •  Having no (or limited) digital proposition, but need to build capability quickly
  • An existing technology environment and processes that slow down the delivery of strategic, digital change and make it hard to innovate at scale
  • Cumbersome maintenance requirements

The study was conducted across four of our customer organisations. For each of the customers we developed paved roads to provide a self-service, friction-free developer experience. We also helped these customers also adopt a “You Build It You Run It” operating model while delivering differentiating digital services. 

Key customer benefits

The study found the following key benefits that the customers received: 

  • Realise value sooner by reducing time to market by 60%
  • More valuable digital services through being able to respond quickly to customer feedback
  • Reduce cost to deliver by saving over thirteen thousand hours of engineering time
  • Improve quality resulting in an 85% reduction in time spent resolving incidents

Common challenges

Many of the organisations we work with either have limited digital delivery capability or have invested in technology in the past that has become slow and difficult to change. We specialise in helping customers to resolve those challenges, reduce the time to market for new strategic digital initiatives, and then scale that capability across many teams.

Reduce time to market

The study found that Equal Experts helped customers achieve 123% ROI on their investments, by helping to smooth the development process and adopting a build and run operating model. The biggest benefit by far was reducing the concept to cash timeline.

By reducing time to market for digital initiatives from 18 months to just 7 months, the composite company in the study achieved increased profits of $61m over three years. Companies reported that they achieved reduced time to market while also scaling their digital delivery capability – something that is notoriously difficult to achieve. The value in investing in a platform of paved roads comes from enabling delivery teams to deploy changes to production early and more frequently. The sooner a digital service is live and generating revenue, the sooner commercial payback can begin. We helped each of the customers in the study to build a platform of ‘paved roads’ that are designed to remove friction for developers building, deploying and running digital services.

Every organisation wants to reduce their concept to cash cycle and there are lots of different ways to do this on one off projects, but when enabling this at scale across many teams, we have found the most reliable enabler is to take a digital platform approach and build custom paved roads with the express purpose of making it easier for software developers to deploy and run their services in production.

Our work with John Lewis & Partners, where we sped up delivery of an e-commerce monolith, is a great example of this in action. When we started six teams released new website features via the same monolith, every 21 days. By developing a paved road to automate the release process for the monolith we moved to fortnightly releases in a three month time frame. This small change enabled each of the six teams working on the monolith to reduce their time to market and release more revenue generating digital services more frequently.

Differentiated digital services

Each customer Forrester interviewed had engaged Equal Experts to help them deliver custom digital propositions that would help the organisation to differentiate itself from competitors.

Adopting a platform-based approach means we are able to reduce the overall cost of delivering new digital propositions. The paved roads we developed allowed smaller development teams to achieve more, because they needed to spend less time configuring infrastructure and environments, instead focusing on delivering differentiated digital services.

In 2019, Pret A Manger had a strong brand identity but little digital presence beyond a website. We worked with Pret to build a platform that has successfully delivered a number of major digital initiatives including a coffee subscription and a ‘pick up’ service. More importantly, we helped Pret to adopt a ‘test and learn’ approach that has massively increased the number of releases each year and helped build a culture of innovation.

Lower TCO and improved reliability

The study also recognised that we were able to improve customer experience by increasing software release throughput and improve the developer experience which helped attract and retain talent in the organisation. Equal Experts customers benefited from reduced total cost of ownership and increased reliability. We have helped customers to simplify complex infrastructure and environments that provide higher uptime, and faster recovery when problems do occur.

We have worked for more than six years with HMRC to support the multi-platform digital tax platform (MDTP). By employing continuous delivery at scale HMRC has been able to significantly reduce their time to market for new digital services. In extreme cases launching new services in four weeks when supporting the UK economy through COVID.

The business case for investing in delivery capability

We commissioned this study to help our customers build the investment case for improving delivery capability. The study focuses on some of our customers where we developed paved roads to provide a self-service, friction-free developer experience. We also helped these customers also adopt a “You Build It You Run It” operating model. The benefits that Forrester found make a compelling case for investing in improving the effectiveness of digital delivery teams.

You can find out more about the full benefits case and take inspiration from it by downloading the Forrester TEI study.